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Teenage Migraines

DMC Specialists help relieve teen’s chronic migraine pain

The crippling pain of migraine headaches can interfere with every aspect of life. 18-year-old Taylor Williams had been suffering from them for eight years, making it more and more difficult to go to school and have a social life.


“A lot of times I would just detach from everybody and go lie down somewhere, turn off the light, and just try to fall asleep until it went away.”


One night, the pain was especially bad, and Taylor’s mother Demetria took her to DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She was put on an IV< given medication to relieve the pain, and then released. The next day, the headache returned. Demetria brought Taylor back to Children’s and she was evaluated by the Director of the Headache Clinic, Dr. Lalitha Sivaswamy.


“When I examined her, one of the things I realized was that the back of her eyes were a little bit swollen, which is not normal in a child. I was concerned about a condition called idiopathic intracranial hypertension. We got an MRI of her brain, and she underwent a spinal tap to measure the pressure of the fluid around her brain. The tests showed that she had an elevated pressure.”


Taylor was put on medication to lower the pressure in her brain and in time, the pain associated with idiopathic intracranial hypertension went away. But she was still getting migraine headaches. The pressure pain had been more like a sinus pain, and the migraine pain was a more intense, throbbing pain.


That’s when Dr. Sivaswamy sent Taylor to Dr. Edward Dabrowski, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist, to talk about a surprising treatment: Botox.


Botox is a treatment that most people associate with eliminating wrinkles. But it’s also approved for treating migraines.


Taylor and her mother trusted Dr. Dabrowski to go ahead with the treatment. After the first treatment, she began to feel relief, and after the second, she was headache-free. Taylor is now going to school to get a cosmetology license and a degree in liberal arts.


To request an appointment with a DMC Pediatric Specialist, call 888-DMC-2500.

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